17 “Fictional” TV Characters Based on Real People

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Don Draper from Mad Men


Don’s character was inspired by Draper Daniels, who was a real-life advertising legend and creative director at Leo Burnett Worldwide, Inc. (he worked on the Marlboro Man campaign in the ’50s). Like the character, Draper was rather egotistical, but he was also enthusiastic and he never failed to come up with creative ideas. Also, according to his wife Myra Janco Daniels, the real Draper was a smooth-talking ladies’ man who enjoyed alcohol a little too much. That, however, changed after they tied the knot. She wrote: “The Draper Daniels I knew became a one-woman man after we married. He also quit drinking, when I told him I didn’t want to work with a lush”

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